February 19, 2004

‘King’ Cody Helps Lead Tigers To Courtwarming Victory

It’s good to be the king! Just ask Scotland County’s Cody Holt, who after being crowned the 2004 Scotland County R-I Courtwarming King, helped lead his team to a hard-fought 60-52 win over Knox County.

Holt had 15 points on the night but none were bigger than the two he earned on an offensive rebound of a missed free throw with less than a minute left to put the Tigers ahead 57-50.

“Cody’s rebound on that missed free throw was a key play in the game,” said Coach Ryan Brown. “Knox was making a run at us and we’d missed free throws on a couple trips down so that was a big momentum swing.”

It was Scotland County that had to come back early in the contest. Aaron Dale led SCR-I out of the gates quickly. The senior forward scored nine straight points to put the Tigers on top 13-6. A reverse lay-up by Holt and a jumper by Jared Shelley gave the Tigers a 17-12 lead after one quarter.

Garet Nunan did his best to keep Knox County in the game. After hitting three, three pointers in the opening period, Nunan continued his hot streak, nailing four more shots from behind the arc to give him 21 first half points.

“Nunan is the streakiest player I have ever seen,” coach Brown said. When he gets on he is simply unconscious and he was obviously on tonight.”

The Tigers had answers early for Nunan as Holt and Shelley each hit triples of their own. But the lead went back and forth for most of the second quarter with the Eagles taking the advantage at the intermission, leading 31-30.

Coach Brown switched to a box-and-one defense to take Nunan out of his game. Holt and Shelley rotated in man coverage on Knox’s top scorer while the rest of the Tigers defense played a “box” zone defense.

The move proved to be the key to the game as Nunan was held to just three second half points.

But even with the defensive switch, it wasn’t easy for the Tigers. Knox went ahead 35-30 to start the third period before holt scored on a rebound. Dale fired in five quick points to allow Scotland County to regain the lead, 38-37 with 2:47 left in the period.

After Nunan’s lone three pointer of the second half momentarily gave the Eagles the lead back, Shelley and Holt hit back-to-back buckets to put the Tigers on top for good, 42-40 with just over 10 minutes left to play in the game.

Neither team could get the offense rolling to start the fourth period. Bryce Blomme broke the dry spell with a jumper that gave SCR-I its biggest lead of the game at 48-40 at the 6:12 mark.

The Tigers struggled a bit at the free throw line, converting just three of seven free throws over the next five minutes leaving the door open for the Eagles.

Knox County cut the deficit to 53-50 forcing the Tigers to take a timeout with 1:28 left in the game.

Greg Neagle answered the challenge with a basket on an offensive rebound. He was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw. That’s when Holt swooped in to grab the rebound and put it back in to build the cushion to 57-50.

“We rebounded the ball very well tonight,” coach Brown stated. “Knox matches up good with us so it was quite an accomplishment to out-rebound them like we did.”

SCR-I had a 33-21 rebounding edge including 14 boards on the offensive glass.

The Tigers hit three of four free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. SCR-I improved to 11-10 and 3-2 in Tri-Rivers Conference play. Knox County dropped to 5-14 and 2-3.

Dale led Scotland County on the night with 17 points. Holt finished with 15 and Neagle added nine. Shelley had a solid game off the bench with eight points.

“Jared played his best game of the year,” Brown said. “Not only did he have a big game offensively he did a lot of the work to shutdown Nunan in the second half.”

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